Assessing the knowledge, attitudes and practices of hand washing at household level in Sindi ward, Mparo town council, Rukiga district
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Introduction: and washing is the act of cleaning hands for the purpose of removing soil, dirt and micro-organisms; which results into reduction of the burden of diseases due to poor Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). However, in Rukiga district, the habit of handwashing at critical times is not a common practice. Diarrhoea alone, one of three major childhood killers in Uganda, kills 33 children every day in the country and Rukiga district is not exceptional. Among the contributing factors to this burden is inadequate knowledge and poor attitudes towards hand washing at household level. Objective: The objective of the study was to assess knowledge, attitudes and practices of hand washing at household level in Sindi ward, Mparo town council, Rukiga district. Methods: A cross-sectional study design which used a qualitative and quantitative data collection methods were used. The study was conducted among a random sample of 130 households in Sindi ward, Mparo town council, Rukiga district. Data was collected on background information, knowledge, attitudes and practices of hand washing at household level. The data was entered into Epi-data and analyzed using Stata software to establish the knowledge, attitudes and practices of hand washing at household level. Results: The study found out thatover two thirds of the respondents, 69.0% had knowledge about hand washing and the main source of that information was community health workers, 55.6%. Almost three quarters, 73.1% of the respondents were practicing hand washing, with the main material used,being water only, 87.4%. Majority of the respondents, 84.6% believed that there was a possibility of food contamination if hands were washed without soap, 80.8% desired to possess a hand washing at home and 93.1 % believed that water only could wash their hands thoroughly. Conclusion: Respondents from Sindi ward Mparo town council were knowledgeable about hand washing; however,their practices were poor, withonly 12.6% washed their hands with water and soap/detergent. Recommendations: The district health team of Rukiga district should sensitize community members of Mparo town council on the necessity of washing hands with soap/detergent since using water only does not effectively clean hands.